Can you relate? I sure can. It wasn't many years ago that I was living in the same kind of "stuck and clueless" wilderness. I knew I had a lot to offer, but I didn't know what to do or how to do it. Maybe you've felt the same?
Let me offer you 5 steps to help get you unstuck.
- Step away from what you don't want. So, when you are thinking steps to get unstuck or to get a clue, some of the most important steps to take are steps away from what you don't want . In my case, I made a decision to leave a situation that was a poor fit. Interestingly, this poor fit was a church I planted and the fact that I fit poorly in an organization I founded may be a poor reflection on my leadership, but that is what it is and I can own that. Not only did I decide to leave, I promised myself that I would never take another position in a church that does not fit me. For me, that means no small, traditional or unhealthy churches. What is a "poor fit" for you might be a whole different thing. But, you have to decide to step away from that which you don't want.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Specifically, this would be people who believe in you and who are in places you want to see yourself one day. Specifically for me, that meant being around my coach, Brad Sprague and the staff at City Church in Tulsa. Surrounding myself with those people helped tremendously, from both an intentional work standpoint (ie. life planning and coaching) and just the positive energy and friendship they imparted to me. You are the sum total of the people who are closest to you.
- Test new waters. Although my only professional experience had been in church ministry, I tested the waters in both the corporate and church worlds. I interviewed for one position with Farmers Insurance and three different positions with LifeChurch. Those were both organizations with available positions that looked like a good fit for me, but as I got closer, I saw that they weren't. That's not a poor reflection on them. It's just the simple truth that some of us fit some places and some of us fit other places. But the value in testing the waters like this is in eliminating clutter in your mind (and heart) and focusing your vision.
- Articulate what you do want. Once you eliminate a bunch of stuff that you know you don't want, you're able to focus on what you do want. I'm way over-simplifying this, but through much prayer, thought and counsel, I came to a simple decision that I wanted a church staff position at a large (or on it's way to being large) church that was really doing something significant. In addition to that, I was set on serving under a pastor that I could really look up to and feel very well lead by. And I'm not at all implying I did not look up to or was not well lead by other pastors I've served under. This just became a clear piece as I pictured my ideal scenario. If you don't know where you want to go, you certainly will never arrive.
- Step toward what you do want. Shortly after I was able to articulate exactly what I was looking for, I shared that with a small network of local pastors here in Tulsa. One of them texted me within days to say Solace Church was looking to add someone to their team. I knew of Solace and I knew our pastor, Matt Blair, but this was not a church on my radar at all. To make a long story short, I've been at Solace Church almost four years now. The more opportunities you step toward, the more will present themselves.